CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice issued the following statement today after learning of the retirement of West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Paine.
“We have so many incredible educators across our great state, but you won’t find many people who care more about our students and who have dedicated more of their heart and soul to improving West Virginia’s education system than Dr. Paine.
"During his time in my administration, Dr. Paine has worked tirelessly to build a solid foundation for our students through early childhood programs and child nutrition efforts and he has been a champion of improving achievement in West Virginia through his focus on graduation rates and career technical education programs. Under his visionary leadership, our graduating students are better-positioned than ever to thrive in higher education or once they join the workforce. At the same time, we are developing the educators of tomorrow – who I truly believe are some of the best, most passionate teachers anywhere in the country.
"Dr. Paine has been a great friend and has gone above and beyond to help the greatest treasure we have in West Virginia: our young people. I thank Dr. Paine for his long-standing and meaningful service to the State of West Virginia, all of our students, and our great teachers, administrators, and service personnel. He will be greatly missed.
"In the coming days, I intend to encourage Dr. Paine to take a leave of absence instead of retiring, simply because of the truly incredible job he has done. However, if he does choose to go through with retirement, Cathy and I will fully support his desire to be there for his loved ones as a family member deals with health issues. Cathy and I are keeping the entire Paine family in our prayers during this difficult time."